Bee Balm

49 in stock

    • 45 $


Quick Overview

Bee Balm

Monarda started from seed does not bloom the first year unless the seed is planted the prior autumn. Monarda needs a compost rich soil and does best in full sun except in Zones 7-8 where it can tolerate partial shade. It is hardy from Zone 4-Zone 8. The plants will grow to 30 inches. It is best to plant Monarda in the fall, but if planting in the spring, set the seeds once all danger of frost has passed. In the fall, leave the seed to germinate in the spring. If seeding in the spring, moisten the soil and keep it slightly moist until germination. Once the plants have been established for 2-3 years, they can be dug up in the fall and separated.

Type Spacing Planting Depth Days to Germination Blossoms
Perennial 3-4 ft. 2 in. 14-21 120-150

Bee Balm

Bee Balm and Wild Bergamot are part of the Monarda family of plants. The Monardas are native, North American prairie flowers that have been a part of the Native American medicinal and culinary cultures since mankind began inhabiting the North American continent. The name, Monarda, comes from the name of the Spanish botanist, Nicolas Monardes, who described many of the qualities of American medicinal plants in a book he wrote in 1571. The Monardas are members of the mint family. The common name, Bee Balm, refers to the plant’s unusual attraction for bees, and the name, bergamot, refers to that plant’s citrusy fragrance which is very much like the scent of bergamot oranges. Monarda fistulosa (Wild Bergamot) was introduced into Britain in 1637 by John Tradescant the younger, but soon perished. In 1744, John Bartram sent seeds of the plant Monarda dydyma (Bee Balm) to Peter Collinson in Britain and plants from these seeds flourished. Monarda dydyma was used by the Native Americans to make the well known Oswego tea. In addition to attracting bees, this plant is also very attractive to hummingbirds and butterflies. Monarda fistulosa produces lavender flowers. The original Monarda dydyma produces scarlet flowers, but many beautiful hybrids of the original have been developed, and these hybrids produce flowers in salmon pink, bright pink, purple, violet and white.

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